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''Dark Skies'' uses ''Independence Day'' in its promotions

The new TV show is hoping to draw some of the movie’s viewers

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There’s nothing like a little cross-promotion between networks. Now that Twentieth Century Fox’s Independence Day is a galaxy-size hit, NBC is using the film’s popularity to push its new fall drama Dark Skies, a show about a government cover-up of aliens on earth. The promo spots, which began July 9, feature eerie cloud formations and the words ”On Independence Day, you thought the battle was over. This fall you’ll see the war is just beginning.”

Isn’t NBC just a little bit ashamed of linking its show to a rival’s movie? (ID belongs to the conglomerate that owns Fox Broadcasting, after all.) Nah. ”My feeling is Fox’s theatrical division should pay us. We’re giving them free time,” says John Miller, NBC’s executive VP of advertising and promotions. So far, says Miller, Fox hasn’t responded with either ”a basket of fruit or a letter from a lawyer,” so the Peacock network has no plans to pull its promos. (A Fox spokeswoman has no comment.)

Besides, ”Independence Day has been around since 1776,” reasons Miller. ”It’s not as if that’s the domain of Fox or the movie.” Tell that to Rupert Murdoch.